Classes in Europe to focus on resources for kids with special needs
HANAU, Germany — Some might associate the word “stomp” with the long-running, off-Broadway theater production by the same name.
The production, which began in England, features no dialogue or plot. It’s about movement and sound, using everyday things in nontraditional ways.
For some Defense Department personnel in Europe, the unconventionality of the production is something they can identify with. Families who have children with special education or health needs are nontraditional, and making a little noise is sometimes the only way to be heard and get help.
This month and next, several U.S. military bases in Europe will host a two-day class for parents of children who qualify, though the definition of “special needs” is broader than people realize. A child with asthma, for example, falls into that category.
A team of presenters is scheduled to visit seven communities in Italy, England and Germany. Called Specialized Training of Military Parents, or STOMP, the program seeks to educate eligible military parents about available programs and their children’s basic rights, or entitlements.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Donna Finney, the Army Community Service director for the 104th Area Support Group in Hanau.
Funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the STOMP Project is an effort by Washington PAVE, a parent-directed organization. PAVE stands for Parents are Vital in Education.
Susan Moyer, the point of contact for parents in Hanau, said the classes would focus on issues ranging from communication techniques and strategies with bureaucrats to wills, guardianships and record-keeping. They’ll also touch on federal laws, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act.
The team’s schedule is:
Sept. 12-13, Naples, Italy;Sept. 19-20, Bitburg, Germany;Oct. 5-6, Würzburg, Germany;Oct. 6-7, RAF Lakenheath, England;Oct. 13-14, Hanau;Oct. 24-25, Mannheim, Germany;Oct. 26-27, Kaiserslautern, Germany.For more information about STOMP, visit the organization’s Web site at: www.washingtonpave.org, or call your local community or family center.